Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer
27 November 2001 - 6 October 2003
SURVEY FINDINGS SUPPORT CASE FOR SUPERANNUATION CHOICE
The findings from the first national survey of adult financial literacy reinforced the case for superannuation choice, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.
"The results for superannuation are quite alarming compared with other financial products," Senator Campbell said.
"They show that people understand risk and return, but when it comes to superannuation their grasp is poor.
"This should not come as a great surprise because at the moment there is little incentive for workers who do not have the freedom of choice to become more financially literate about super.
"Without incentive there won't be effort to learn."
Senator Campbell, who was launching the ANZ-sponsored survey in Sydney, said the Federal Government had earmarked $28 million for Choice education and administration.
"The Government is intent on lifting the levels of understand and knowledge about superannuation, but the education program is contingent upon the Choice legislation being passed," he said.
"These findings show there is a clear need for a special effort on super."
Senator Campbell said the Financial Services Reform Act introduced in March last year requires all documentation to be written in a more readily understood form. This would contribute to improving financial literacy standards.
Senator Campbell congratulated the ANZ for funding the survey, conducted by Roy Morgan Research and overseen by a steering committee that included representatives of the ANZ, Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the UNSW Financial Services Consumer Policy Centre.
"This is pioneering work which establishes a benchmark for measuring the effectiveness of all future work in this area," he said.
2 May 2003
Contact: Wayne Grant 0407 845 280